Bored as heck? Let’s get through this together.
The internet can be a wonderful place. It can also be a place that you get stuck down ridiculous rabbit holes that are impossible to get out of. This page exists because the latter has happened to me on a number of occasions, and because of that, I present to you this Baseball Nerd Watch List.
Most of what’s here is on YouTube, but I’ll post anything that’s available for free. This list is also just the start, is by no means whatsoever comprehensive, and it will grow over time. Also, I have watched all of these and am not ashamed of this fact.
If you’d like to contribute, shoot me a DM on Twitter at @Uh_Oh_Rexy, or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may or may not give you credit for your contributions, but I’ll think you’re cool as heck either way.
The focus here is decidedly on the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but there are some exceptions, and documentaries made in more recent days about the old days definitely count. Actually, in reality, I guess there aren’t really rules. This is all for fun.
So, here you go. You’re welcome:
Baseball in the 1970s – “A Decade of Transition” – this one features a pretty honest host who speaks using language that we wouldn’t recognize today… well, we’d recognize it but we’d be like “grandpa, you can’t talk like that anymore.” Definitely a piece of history here.
A look at the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. Man, the 70s were something else. Looked like a heck of a time.
This one’s from the National Film Board of Canada, so it’s pretty low-key. But it’s about Ferguson Jenkins, which makes it a bit a little bit more… low-key.
This one is the first ever This Week in Baseball episode – including commercials. Well worth the watch for Mickey Mantle endorsing Brylcreem alone. It’s amazing.
A great look inside the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (WE ARE FAM-A-LEE) World Series champions. It’s especially fun because the Orioles lose.
MLB Network 1986 Season Review. Did you guys hear the Red Sox almost won the World Series in 1986 but didn’t?
A great look at the history of the Cincinnati Reds up to 1987. There were good times, bad times, and as we’d find out later, a lot of racist times.
To celebrate the San Diego Padres’ 20th season, this video was made. Summary: they lost a lot but made the World Series this one time, and the weather was nice.
A Bashing Success: 1988 Oakland Athletics. This is one of the most 1980’s things I’ve seen, although they hid the cocaine and steroids pretty well.
Boys of Zimmer: The 1989 Chicago Cubs. Spoiler alert: the Cubs lose in the end.
This one is a Sporting News recap of the decade of the 1980s – it’s amazing how different a time this was already. Watch it and you’ll get a sense of what I mean. How old are we, anyway?
The Colourful Montreal Expos – a very cool look back at the Montreal Expos and the history of that franchise.
The first 100 years of Dodgers history, from 1890-1990.
Wire to Wire – the 1990 Cincinnati Reds. Arguably the most successful team in baseball history that nobody cares about at all.
This one is a great one about the 1991 Atlanta Braves. You know, the “team of the 1990s” that won fewer championships in that decade than the New York Yankees or the Toronto Blue Jays? That’s the one, yes.
Ever wanted an in-depth chronicle of the 1992 season, narrated by the great Mel Allen? Well, your dreams have come true.
Chronicling the Colorado Rockies inaugural season. Worth it for the incredible custom Rockies intro song, and also because it’s called “The Dream Season.” The Rockies finished 67-95 that year.
This one is about the Florida Marlins, called “A Great Beginning.” There are a few struggles with the audio in this one, but it’s cool to see people caring about the Marlins. That doesn’t seem to happen much. Also, fantastic long-form review of the grounds crew’s attempt at rolling out the tarp
Upset about the 1994 strike that ruined the Montreal Expos’ chance at a World Series? Stay away from this one, it won’t make you feel any better.
The Story of rookie Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game for the Chicago Cubs in May, 1998.
A Season of Heroes – The 1998 San Diego Padres. Summary: they made the World Series but lost to the Empire of Evil. But at least the weather was nice in San Diego.
“Race for the Record” – this one talks about the race between McGwire/Sosa to beat Roger Maris’ record in 1998. It was made right after it happened so it wasn’t all about steroids and stuff. It was a time when we were pretending that those gigantic musclebound ballplayers just came out of nowhere and hit home runs like nobody ever had.
Legends and Legacies – Memories of Milwaukee County Stadium. It’s narrated by Bob Uecker, which is awesome, and documents a significant amount of Braves and Brewers history. Spoiler alert: they don’t win much, but they have a heck of a time in a city known for making beer. Weird.
Michigan and Trumbull. This one is a history of Tiger Stadium, narrated by the immortal Ernie Harwell. Even if you think you hate the Tigers (like me), this one is terrific.
Mickey Mantle – This one gets a little emotional, but it’s a good, honest look at Mickey Mantle and who he was. It’ll make you feel a bit better, because ol’ Mick was a bit of a dickhead, too.
A City on Fire: The 1968 Detroit Tigers. It’s a great reflection on a tumultuous time in US history – and Detroit history, specifically – but how the 1968 Tigers helped to unite people in a meaningful way.
A great documentary about Stan Musial. Turns out he was really good, but nobody talks about him nearly enough.
The Vet – Field of Memories. Yes, this one makes Veterans’ Stadium in Philadelphia seem like it was a good baseball stadium and not just a concrete toilet in a parking lot. I guess only people from Philly get it (as usual).
Tired of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry? Yeah, you probably are. We all are. Here’s how it looked in 2006.
Made in 2013, this is a super cool look back at the Colorado Rockies, starting before their inception in 1993.
If you had cable TV in the 1990s, you probably had WGN and watched the Cubs after school because they were on. This is a great look at broadcaster Harry Caray, called “Hello Again, Everybody!” Highly recommend having a few Budweisers on ice for this one.
The St. Louis Browns – The Team That Baseball Forgot. If you’ve ever felt down and out about the fortunes of the team you cheer for, watch this. You’ll feel better, no question.
World Series Films
Most of these are the official MLB ones, and man is it ever a lot of fun to watch them evolve over time:
1972 World Series Film – Oakland A’s def. Cincinnati Reds
1973 World Series Film – Oakland A’s def. New York Mets
1974 World Series Film – Oakland A’s def. Los Angeles Dodgers
1975 World Series Film – Cincinnati Reds def. Boston Red Sox. You know that Carlton Fisk home run that Massholes are always talking about? Yeah, Cincy still beat them in the Series.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS-T0LIykg4 (not the best quality but all I can find right now)
1976 World Series Film – Cincinnati Reds def. New York Yankees. This was right near the start of the George Steinbrenner-Billy Martin drama.
1977 World Series Film – New York Yankees def. Los Angeles Dodgers
1978 World Series Film – New York Yankees def. Los Angeles Dodgers
1979 World Series Film – Pittsburgh Pirates def. Baltimore Orioles – WE ARE FAM-A-LEE!
1980 World Series Film – Philadelphia Phillies def. Kansas City Royals
1981 World Series Film – Los Angeles Dodgers def. New York Yankees
1982 World Series Film – St. Louis Cardinals def. Milwaukee Brewers. Turns out, they called this the “Suds Series” because both cities make a lot of beer. I did not know that until recently.
1983 World Series Film – Baltimore Orioles def. Philadelphia Phillies
1984 World Series Film – Detroit Tigers vs. San Diego Padres – hey, at least the weather’s always nice in San Diego.
1985 World Series Film – Kansas City Royals def. St. Louis Cardinals. This was allegedly called the “Show-Me Series” or the “I-70 Showdown Series.”
1986 World Series Film – New York Mets def. Boston Red Sox. Spoiler: The Red Sox almost won but didn’t at the last minute.
1987 World Series Film – Minnesota Twins def. St. Louis Cardinals
1988 World Series Film – LA Dodgers def. Oakland A’s. Kirk Gibson limping around the bases never gets old.
1989 World Series Film – Oakland A’s def. San Francisco Giants – great coverage of the series that started as the Bay Bridge Series but unfortunately became the Earthquake Series.
1990 World Series Film – Cincinnati Reds def. Oakland A’s. For real, this actually happened. You can look it up.
1992 World Series Film – Toronto Blue Jays def. Atlanta Braves. Worth the watch just for the “Chance of a Lifetime” song at the end. Wonderful stuff.
1993 World Series Film – Toronto Blue Jays def. Philadelphia Phillies. Again, amazing final song montage to celebrate Jumpin’ Joe.
Here is the last out from every World Series from 1980-2016. Want to get a little emotional watching grown men jump around? Have at it.